Dr. Alan Mafara
Dr. Alan Mafara came from Zimbabwe in 2003 after having graduated in 1993 from the University of Zimbabwe. He came to AZ to be with his wife, Sharon, who he met in an exchange program between the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Zimbabwe’s veterinary school.
Since moving to Arizona, Dr. Mafara has become passionate about preventative care, orthopedic surgery and veterinary dentistry in primarily dogs and cats. He spends time with his mentors at Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists in order to improve his dentistry skills.
Dr. Mafara and Sharon share their home with their son, daughter, and a boxer mix called Girlfriend. Their after hours activities are usually centered on the kids who like chasing hot air balloons and attending swimming lessons. Dr. Mafara also enjoys the local sports teams and catching a Cardinals, Diamondbacks or Suns game whenever he can. He hasn’t quite yet become a Coyotes fan since he says he still has to learn how hockey works! For relaxation, however, he finds a round of golf is a welcome bonus.
Dr. Tracy Connolly
Dr. Connolly grew up in Payson, AZ. She attended the University of Arizona and received her bachelor’s degree in animal science with a minor in chemistry in 2005. She then completed her Veterinary degree at Oregon State University in 2009. Dr. Connolly joined the staff at East Valley Animal Hospital in 2013.
One of Dr. Connolly’s true passions is performing ultrasounds on patients. She admits that this part of her job is her “happy place.” She has also completed many hours of continuing education with a special interest in dentistry and preventative care.
Dr. Connolly lives in Queen Creek and is engaged to be married. She has four kids, a horse, a pony, and a dog. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, riding horses and country dancing.
Hospital Manager, CVT
Gina has had a love for animals for as long as she can remember. She knew that a career with animals was her life’s calling since she was 4 years old. She actually started working in the veterinary field when she was 12 years old by volunteering at a local clinic in her neighborhood every summer. This lead to going every day after school once she was in high school, which finally lead to a job when she was 16 years old.
She joined the East Valley Animal team in November of 2009 and became a CVT in 2010. She was a part-time technician until March of 2014 when she decided to become the Hospital Manager and be a committed full-time leader. Gina is currently working on obtaining her CVPM.
When you talk to Gina, you can easily tell how much she loves working at East Valley Animal Hospital. “It’s great being a part of a group of people that is so close,” she says. “We’re like a family.” Gina also acknowledges how much she and every member on the staff truly cares for each patient. “This clinic treats the patients as if they are their own,” she explains, “and we’ve built some amazing relationships with our clients because of it.”
A native of Tucson, Gina currently lives in Mesa and enjoys spending time with her wife, two boys, their Bengal kitty, three Red Eared Sliders, and four dogs. Photography, reading, hiking, and running are some of her favorite things to do on her downtime. She was a surrogate in 2016.
Originally from Washington State, Angela began working at EVAH in July of 2013. Providing great customer service by making clients and pets feel safe and welcomed is her #1 goal, an easy accomplishment with all that EVAH offers. Angela is also dedicated to building great relationships with clients and their pets to ensure they have all they need while they are here with us. With over 20 years as a bookkeeper before jumping into the veterinary field as a veterinary assistant, Angela eventually found her life’s mission as a customer service representative and has been doing it ever since. Her passion for animals motivated her to start up a career in the veterinary field where she loves all of the interaction with the people and the patients, making it easy for her to say, “I actually enjoy coming to work each and every day.”
In her free time, Angela can be found traveling to the water – whether it’s an ocean, river or lake – and likes to stay busy whenever she can by going camping, riding horses or off roading.
Lead Veterinary Technician
Rachel has been in the veterinary field for 15 years now, working with Dr. Mafara for a total of more than 13 of those years and Dr Connolly for six years. She shares her home with the most important man in her life, Steve the Cat, her 15 year old Manx. She does have one other man in her life, Blu, her 23 year old quarter horse, who lives at her mom’s house with her horse Splash. Steve and Rachel are mostly homebodies. You’ll usually find them there watching TV, movies, reading or playing video games. She also enjoys spending time with friends and family, but Steve usually stays home. She couldn’t imagine having any other job or working with any other group of people. They all share a passion for keeping pets happy and healthy as if they were their own.
Donna traveled from California to Arizona in search of a new adventure shortly after graduating high school. Once in Arizona, being a short road trip away from snow and so close to mountains was reason enough to stay. Donna has always had a love for animals, but there was a time where she considered working as a ‘human nurse.’ One day, it just hit her that helping animals was IT for her! She started school to become a veterinary technician and graduated from Kaplan University in 2011 and the rest is history! She does plan on continuing her education and hopes to become a Certified Veterinary Technician. Her dream is to one day work at a wildlife park and get to interact with all the amazing tigers, lions, and bears!
When not at work, Donna loves to hang out with her coworkers–who are like family to her, take care of her animals, play video games, read comics and watch all the Marvel/DC movies, watch anime and be the designated taste tester for her husband, Steven, whenever he tries new recipes at home. He repays the favor when Donna tries new baking recipes. The first 2 pets they have are a blue pit that she adopted named Havoc and Talo her cat who moved with her from California. She found him as a stray kitten and he turned out to be the ideal road trip partner during her move. He sat in the front seat and napped, he only complained when the AC was not pointed directly at him! New additions, Harley and Igneel (Iggy for short) are their bearded dragons. Harley is a leatherback and Iggy is a Citrus. They are little hungry hippos that love exploring the house, sitting on top of your head and scaring Havoc and Talo.
Donna understands the unfortunate situation of when something unexpected happens to your fur-babies. Sometimes it is scary and frustrating and there are a lot of emotions. Having her own pets, Donna understands and has felt what some clients go through when something scary happens with their fur babies.
Audrey began working for EVAH in May of 2011. As a nurse for pets, she does everything from running diagnostics to monitoring anesthesia. Throughout her career with EVAH, she is most proud of her personal and professional growth, going from assistant work to now taking on more responsibility. Audrey is especially proud of her skill at monitoring anesthesia and helping with surgeries, and she enjoys making the clients and patients as comfortable as possible and making every interaction a great experience for everyone.
After graduating from EVIT, Audrey worked in surgery specialty for over a year-and-a-half before transitioning to the EVAH team, where her passion for patient care shines. A native of Mesa, AZ, Audrey spends her free time loving on her own fur babies, as well as long boarding, playing video games, reading and hiking. She also enjoys live music, which is a good thing since her boyfriend is in a band.
Rachelle started at EVAH in December 2012 as a veterinary assistant and receptionist where her duties include cleaning, performing diagnostics and establishing relationships with clients. She enjoys playing the “motherly” role when taking care of sick patients and watching them get well warms her heart. “I’ve always had a deep connection with animals, especially dogs,” Rachelle says. “Seeing my miniature pinscher diagnosed with diabetes gave me the push to pursue a career in the veterinary field.”
Rachelle has one daughter, a dog named Yukon and a rat named Atticus. Her hobbies include makeup application, going to concerts, “Sunday Funday” with her family and going to the coffee shop with her best friend. Rachelle appreciates the great relationships she has with her co-workers and considers them to be family
Client Service Representative
Akeela joined our family in June of 2019. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska she moved out to chandler in 2008. She immediately began training in the vet field due to her extreme love for animals. She is now cross-trained in multiple positions throughout the hospital. She is very passionate about animals and helping to save lives! In her free time, she enjoys dancing, painting, being outdoors and spending time with her 3 dogs and 1 kitty.
Jackie moved to Arizona from Texas, starting with us as an extern. She officially joined our team after graduating from veterinary technician school at Vet Tech Institute of Houston in August of 2019.
Jackie started in the veterinary field while completing her Bachelor’s of Science at Duke University in North Carolina, working in the avian and exotics department of an animal hospital in Houston, Texas during her breaks. Always knowing that she wanted to dedicate her career to animals, she realized being a technician was the best way for her to fulfill that dream.
Jackie has spent time working with animals in all aspects, from being part of the husbandry team at the Duke Lemur Center, to being an ecology and conservation research assistant in South Africa. She grew up surrounded by animals her whole life, and has always possessed an endless compassion and curiosity for them.
When she isn’t at work she enjoys traveling and experiencing new adventures. She is very active and enjoys being outside running as well.